LANSING — Multiple felony charges have been filed against the self-proclaimed leader and an associate of the national White Supremacist group, “The Base.”
Following an investigation by Michigan State Police and the FBI, the two were found to be linked to a December 2019 incident in Dexter. During this incident, a family was terrorized at their home after the men allegedly used intimidation tactics on the premises and posted messages to other members of The Base to target the home.
Attorney General Dana Nessel announced today in a press release that Justen Watkins, 25, of Bad Axe, and Alfred Gorman, 35, of Taylor have been charged with gang membership, unlawful posting of a message and using computers to commit a crime.
The charges were filed in Washtenaw County 14A-3 District Court as that is the jurisdiction of the incident.
Warrants were executed this morning at the defendants’ residences by Michigan State Police and FBI agents. Both suspects were taken into custody and are being held at the Washtenaw County Jail while arraignment is pending.
“Using tactics of intimidation to incite fear and violence constitutes criminal behavior,” Nessel said. “We cannot allow dangerous activities to reach their goal of inflicting violence and harm on the public. I am proud to work alongside law enforcement agencies at the local, state and federal levels to safeguard the public’s safety from these serious threats.”
On Dec. 11, 2019, the victims reportedly witnessed the pair dressed in dark clothing taking pictures on the front porch of their home that were later uploaded to The Base’s channel on the social media platform, “Telegram”, with the caption, “The Base sends greetings to Daniel Harper of the Antifa podcast ‘I Don’t Speak German.’”
The intent was to threaten and intimidate Harper; however Harper never lived at that address.
The Base is a White supremacy organization that was founded in 2018 and openly advocates for violence and criminal acts and purports to be training for a race war to establish White ethnonationalist rule in parts of the U.S., including the Upper Peninsula. The group also traffics in Nazi ideology and extreme Anti-Semitism, at one point requiring members to read neo-Nazi books to urge the collapse of Western civilization.
Watkins claims to have been appointed leader of the group and reportedly ran a “hate camp” for members where he led tactical and firearms training for participants with a goal of violently overthrowing the government.